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Olympics 2012: Roads to redemption for Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay
Gatlin overcame depression; Gay’s body sound again
Mitchell won bronze in the 100 meters and gold in the 4x100 meter relay in the 1992 Games in Barcelona. He also won silver in the 4x100 relay in the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Mitchell also received a two-year ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations for elevated testosterone in 1998. He would race internationally just once more, at the 2001 World Championships before retiring and becoming a coach.
“I’m not surprised at all at Justin’s success. He’s a very talented guy, and very coachable.”
“We all have our eyes on that prize we want to get at the end,” Gatlin said. “I don’t think I would come back to a sport where I’m OK getting second or third.”
Return of Tyson Gay
But Gay’s body refused to cooperate. At the trials, Gay pulled his hamstring in the qualifying round of the 200 meters and never made it to the final. By the time he reached Beijing, a hobbled Gay did not make it past the semifinals in the 100 meters. The highly anticipated showdown never took place.
A 100- and 200-meter specialist since his high school days, Gay won the Kentucky High School State Championships in the 100 and placed second in the 200 before attending Barton County Community College in Kansas. He followed his track coach from Barton to the University of Arkansas, where he became the NCAA champion in the 100 meters.
Gay qualified for the 2004 Olympic trials, making it to the semifinals in the 100 meters. He turned pro the following year and competed in the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki but didn’t medal.
It would be a different story in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Gay won gold medals in the 100, the 200 and the 4x100 meter relay.
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About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
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